Super-hydrophobic coatings on cotton fabrics using sol–gel technique by spray

In a new study, hydrophobic surfaces on cotton fabrics were obtained using a sol–gel technique to produce coatings applied using a spray of precursor solution followed by drying and heat treatments.

A loboratory as a symbol image.

Different types of treatments using the sol–gel process were performed in order to assess the influence on fabric hydrophobicity, with alteration of parameters including the concentrations of citric acid and tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS), the number of sprays, and curing of the fabric after obtaining the hydrophobic coating.

The absorption of water into material samples were tested according to the AATCC test method 79. Scanning electron microscopy, contact angle, and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) analysis were also studied. Excellent results were obtained for the contact angle (>150°), hence characterising all the treatments as super-hydrophobic.

Good agreement with the experimental data

FT-IR analyses revealed differences according to the citric acid concentration employed. The best results were obtained for samples treated using a higher concentration of citric acid and spraying the sol–gel solution twice. Mathematical models of the contact angle and the time for water absorption by the fabric treated with TEOS and citric acid showed good agreement with the experimental data.

The study has been published in Journal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology, Volume 95 (2020).

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